Holistic healing, as I see it, is both a process and a framework from which to view one's symptoms. In other words, the practitioner may use modalities that are considered 'holistic' to help clients overcome various issues, however, I believe it is the perspective the practitioner takes that views the person through a holistic lens that is the key.
Many practitioners of alternative, or complementary medicine consider what they offer of services to fall within the realm of holistic healing. And, many therapies, including acupuncture and hypnotherapy ~ both of which I have training in ~ along with several other therapies, such as chiropractic, massage, herbal or homeopathic medicine, energy healing, and others are often considered holistic therapies by default.
Holistic healing therapies take into consideration ~ in varying degrees ~ the mental, emotional, and possibly even spiritual influences impacting, or at the root of physical imbalances.
For example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), patterns of imbalance may be linked to the primary emotions; each of the primary emotions are associated with different organs, for example: grief is held within the lungs, sadness in the heart, fear in the kidneys (or adrenals), worry and over thinking is associated with the spleen/stomach channel, and anger or frustration is associated with the liver.
Both a suppression of and over expression of emotions can disrupt the smooth flow of qi, or vital energy.
In TCM there is a saying:
"where there is flow, there is not pain. Where there is pain, there is no flow."
Over time, mental and emotional imbalances will lead to physical imbalances.
Many have long believed that the true cause of our suffering is spiritual in nature.
Going against our True Nature, or what some refer to as Logos will lead to suffering. No matter what physical treatments are administered, if the root spiritual or emotional causes are not addressed, the pattern will likely repeat itself. This is the crux of what the Holistic CORE Counseling system seeks to address.
Many people consider the use of herbs, vitamins, or even adopting a healthier diet to fall under the realm of holistic healing. I would say yes, that is true, to an extent. They are a more natural way to help heal the body. Contrast using these methods to taking pharmaceuticals, often designed to suppress symptoms, rather than bring about a cure, or true healing of the underlying issues.
Matching the symptoms with the right treatment is part of the training holistic practitioners receive, just as a doctor learns to match symptoms with the right drug, only different. The drug is of a synthetic nature, the right herbs and foods can help the entire body heal, not just relieve a set of symptoms.
Adopting a healthy diet, and taking some herbs is far less invasive, and while sometimes a slower path to healing, it can greatly enhance and transform one's physical, and even mental and emotional health.
However, what if our underlying issues are deeper than we realize? What if as some say there is a spiritual or emotional component to most conditions?
Consider a hypothetical client who has an issue that a change of diet would be the therapy of choice based on empirical evidence showing good results for his or her particular condition. However, the client doesn't want to make the changes, and may even feel pretty adamant that they are eating a 'clean' diet.
As a holistic practitioner, this now becomes a potentially different scenario. An alternative therapy may be more invasive, or less effective. And, there may be underlying attachments, fears, or emotional triggers that are impeding implementing the therapy of choice. These fears and attachments could be a source of sabotage for the client in many other areas of his or her life as well.
A Holistic healing approach would look at treating the physical condition, and simultaneously address the potential underlying mental and emotional patterns and attachments.
When a client is willing to address his or her blind spots, powerful transformation and growth are possible, beyond just the physical.
After being immersed in the holistic healing fields for at least two decades or longer, I have come to see what I would consider true holistic healing to be largely a result of the lens from which the practitioner sees the client, and his or her ability to discern the actual root of the client's issues.
A lot of anxiety is a result of not facing one's truth, appropriately handling unresolved issues, or living out of alignment with the Divine Order or Natural Law.
When you are living disharmoniously to who you are, you will suffer in some way. Not because you are meant to suffer, but because living counter to your true nature leads to dis-ease.
Symptoms can be viewed as a message from your greater Spirit, trying to get you to slow down, or make some changes to your life, livelihood, or lifestyle.
Usually people have an inner haunting feeling that something is awry ~ they are unhappy at their job, where they live, or in their current relationship ~ but it's too difficult to face. Fears of the unknown, and fears of not having enough resources to make appropriate changes can be paralyzing.
Healthy people are those who really love their life. They are connected to their family and/or have a sense of belonging to something greater ~ their family, community or tribe, and a Higher Spiritual Source (Nature / God / Great Spirit or Logos) ~ and share their gifts and skills in meaningful ways.
Not all holistic practitioners will grok that the true root cause of one's symptoms is often not knowing Who You Truly Are as a spiritual being, and living counter to your true nature.
I have a certification as a Holistic C.O.R.E. Counselor or Educator. In this system, we view the client as a composite of many parts, some with lesser, and some with greater resources. We address the 'parts' which are like aspects of us frozen in time with unresolved emotional wounds, while leaning on those higher, greater, and future aspects of ourselves that have infinitely greater resources.
I feel very fortunate to have taken the program created by Dr. Martin Hart of the American Society of Alternative Therapists, as I believe his Holistic C.O.R.E. Counseling/Educating system is a true and bonafide holistic healing modality.
It is because of my training in this system that I came to really understand what true holistic healing involves. It is more than just saying you practice a holistic healing therapy. I've practiced many forms of holistic healing modalities over the years, yet still felt like I would often come up short, not fully helping clients transcend ~ both their symptoms, and their need 'to be healed.'
Some of the best holistic healing practitioners are those who have direct personal experiences in overcoming their own physical, mental, and emotional limitations. They have developed a sense of compassion towards others, having had their own personal challenges. At the same time, they have the right mix of training, empathy, intuition, insight, and an ability to connect the dots, helping clients understand the cause of their symptoms and emotional triggers.
There are no magical pills or therapies that can address all of our mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. You just have to be willing to do the inner work.
The tools I learned from the Holistic CORE Counseling/Education system have been the most empowering and transformative I learned, despite my extensive background in holistic healing. It is a blend of guided therapeutic imagery, energy healing and parts therapy applied during a hypnotherapy session.
Want to learn my favorite super simple, affordable and natural healing modality that Don and I recommend to most of our clients?
Spill your guts out to the Earth if you need. Just mentally express all that is bothering you, as you imagine it all going right into the Earth, then leave it buried there for life, and your greater unseen resources to help you handle.
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